Hosting from home or office
A high-quality webcam is important. You can use your built-in camera on a laptop however a separate webcam is always a better option if you have access to one.
Two specifications you’ll want to consider are resolution and frame rate. For high-definition video, you’ll want a camera that has 1280 x 720 pixels resolution or higher. A high frame rate will make your video look smooth, and webcams with 60 frames per second (fps) or higher provide the best quality, but if the price tag is too high, test 30 fps to see if it meets your quality needs.
Or, use a good headset; typically the closer the microphone is to your mouth, the less background noise it will pick up. Another excellent option is a Lavalier mic. Lavalier microphones are small, clip onto your shirt, and have thin wires you can snake through your clothing to keep them out of sight.
Rode’s smartLAV+, which delivers on the company’s claims of “broadcast quality” results. The small, omnidirectional microphone can connect to a computer through its microphone-in port, or a smartphone’s headphone jack (you may need an adapter on some phones).
Failing all else a set of Apple headphones will produce better audio than a built-in mic.
Audio quality is extremely important; a poor audio experience will make it difficult for your audience to absorb your message and decrease the effectiveness of your event.
Chances are you don’t have a studio environment, but with Zoom’s virtual backgrounds you can look like you do! You can upload and use any image or video as your background. For best results with your virtual background, add a green screen behind you. If you’re hosting a panel, consider making backgrounds for everyone with their names and titles. We recommend that your image is 1920×1080, with at least 80px margins around text, and a minimum text size of 46px. Using a green screen behind you will allow a much higher quality of replacement background.
Good lighting is crucial in presenting your best self. You want to have a light source directly behind the camera illuminating your face. Indirect light or lights with adjustable brightness are helpful to avoid washing out your face. Avoid backlighting that makes your face look dark. There are plenty of LED light options available online for very little cost.
Before you’re about to go live and present to your audience, test your equipment. Make sure you view it from the attendee perspective. Close all other applications before you test. If possible, hardwire your device to the internet for better reliability than WiFi connections. You can host an online event with a mobile device, though to benefit from the video and audio equipment mentioned above, use a computer. Here are system requirements for broadcasting with Zoom.
Streaming computer that meets the minimum specifications:
- Quad-Core Intel i5 2.3Ghz or higher processor
- 8 GB RAM, Dual Slot• Adequate i/o – Anker USB-C Hub for Mac users
- 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, 1x Ethernet
- Monitoring computer with headphones to view your attendees’ experience
- Zoom Desktop Client version 5.0+
- Minimum internet speed 2Mbps up/down for 1080p
Setting up the environment and technical equipment required to host an online event might be uncharted territory for you. But if you’ve got the right plan, best practices, and technology in place, it’s sure to be a huge success.
Hosting from a regional hub
It’s important to have someone other than the speaker control the computer that is capturing the live feed. The speaker can concentrate on delivering content whilst operator can monitor the audio-visual aspect and also run any Powerpoint being used by the speaker and share that to the screen so that participants everywhere can see.
A high-quality webcam or video camera is important. There are a range of options for how you can film the live Zoom feed:
- Mount a webcam on a tripod and use as your video feed. This allows an operator to control the computer/laptop from which the feed is being sourced.
- Mount a SLR or Digital SLR on a tripod and use as your video feed. This option will allow more audio options.
You have a range of options for audio. Remember that audio quality is more important than video quality:
- Use a normal mic on a stand and run a connection to your computer via a mixer. You can use a small portable mixer for this purpose.
- Use a lavalier mic attached to the speaker and plugged into your computer. This is the most basic way to capture excellent sound. You may however need a lavalier mic extension to read the speaker and allow them freedom of movement.
- Use a directional boom mic attached to a SLR or Digital SLR camera on the hot shoe to capture quality sound. The camera will need to be close enough to the speaker.
- Use a radio mic which you can feed into your computer directly or through a small mixer. Using a mixer gives you more control over the volume and quality of sound which you can monitor through headphones.